Overall, though, there is more dogma than philosophy in Kimball's book. He frequently falls victim to extreme and sometimes questionable prejudices. And there are holes in many of his arguments. Inevitably, I find him most correct when he agrees with me. He is right, for instance, when he dismisses the tenderizing effects of marinades; the acids simply can't penetrate deep enough to affect more than the surface of the meat. But at other times, I find him perplexingly wrong-headed. Take beans, for example. I've looked into the subject quite a bit and have decided that presoaking dried beans is next to useless. It does nothing to eliminate the oligosaccharides that cause most of the, um, flatulence (and incidentally, these are sugars, not enzymes as Kimball says), and it only moderately decreases the cooking time. Kimball asserts on the one hand that overnight soaking is necessary, but on the other argues that, in a pinch, it's better to cook beans without soaking at all than to do the quick presoak. He somehow apparently never bothered to test without soaking at all. Kimball is likewise stubborn about the supposed advantages of low-temperature roasting. He roasts a chicken at 375° and finds it admirable, yet he insists on recommending a convoluted technique that involves starting the chicken at 375°, reducing it to 200° after an hour, and then increasing it to 400° for the last 15 minutes. About halfway through this laborious process, you want to shake him by the shoulders and shout: "Chris, it's just a goddamned roast chicken, for heaven's sake!"